Oscar Piastri has been promoted to F1 race seat for 2023 season by Alpine in place of the outgoing Fernando Alonso.
After a shock announcement from Alonso to switch to Aston Martin in a multi-year deal from 2023 F1 season, Alpine has promoted reserve driver Piastri in a race seat alongside Esteban Ocon for next year to replace the outgoing Spaniard.
Before the announcement, team boss Otmar Szafnauer stated that the team only came to know about Alonso joining Aston Martin on the day of announcement, which left them in some limbo. It was quite an admission considering the offers presented to him.
Reports suggested that Alpine seemingly offered a year’s drive and switch to endurance racing, to bring in Piastri alongside Ocon. But Alonso had other ideas and wants to continue racing in F1 for few more seasons than just the one.
Amid this, Alpine were figuring out where to put Piastri for 2023 with Williams name on the list. However, separate reports suggested that the Australian – via Mark Webber – were in talks with McLaren of a possible race seat alongside Lando Norris.
Alpine stressed on the commitment factor while promoting Piastri to a F1 race seat in 2023, but interestingly there is no quote from the new-to-be-F1 drive in the press release. For the Australian, it is finally a dream come true having had to wait for a year since F2 win.
“Oscar is a bright and rare talent. We are proud to have nurtured and supported him through the difficult pathways of the junior formulae,” said Szafnauer. “Through our collaboration over the past four years, we have seen him develop and mature into a driver who is more than capable of taking the step up to Formula 1.
“As our reserve driver he has been exposed to the team at the track, factory and testing where he has shown the maturity, promise and speed to ensure his promotion to our second seat alongside Esteban. Together, we believe the duo will give us the continuity we need to achieve our long-term goal of challenging for wins and championships.”
More to come